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Former Corydon teacher sentenced

Harrison Superior Judge Joseph (Joe) Claypool handed down a partially-suspended sentence Thursday to a former Corydon Central Junior-Senior High School teacher.
Kellen Hubert, 29, was sentenced to 25 months, with one year and one month suspended and one year to serve at the Indiana Dept. of Corrections. In addition to various fines and fees, he’ll also have to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Under new Indiana law, he’ll serve 85 percent of his sentence.
In May, Hubert entered a blind plea of guilty to Level 5 felony child seduction after inappropriate sexual contact with a consenting 16-year-old student in the concession stand area of the junior high. Though the age of consent in Indiana is 16, an exception to that is when someone has power over the younger person, such as a teacher or an administrator or in another role as part of their employment.
Hubert, who is married, taught social studies at CCJHS, was an assistant football coach at Corydon Central High School, was the athletic director and boys’ track coach for the junior high school and was a high school journalism teacher, as needed. He was hired by the South Harrison Community School Corp. in August 2009.
‘Any time we send our children to school, it is inevitable they are going to make mistakes,’ Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said. ‘That is part of life, but it is our hope, not only as a prosecutor but as a parent, that when we send our children to school that the teachers are not going to facilitate those mistakes. And I think today sent a real clear message that sort of behavior is not tolerated in Harrison County.’
Several people testified about Hubert’s character, including his mother, grandfather, wife, pastor and one of his former teachers at Floyd Central. All said the incident in question was a one-time mistake or that he shouldn’t receive jail time.
During closing arguments, Schalk said Cell Block 1402, which houses prisoners accused of sex crimes at the Harrison County Jail, is full of people who may have made one-time mistakes.
Hubert’s attorney, Michael Summers, argued that, if Hubert was in a different profession, the case would have never been heard.
‘It’s a shame we are even here,’ Summers said. ‘ … he should have been smart enough to say no.
‘If punishments were deterrents, we could knock jails down and build churches. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘I have always thought that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.’ He’s admitted to everything. I’m asking for home incarceration or probation. Have mercy on him … ‘
Jim Lang, an English and journalism teacher at Floyd Central High School, said, ‘Nothing that has happened in the past seven months has changed my opinion of him. I can say there’s no student I respect more than Kellen Hubert.’
Lang later turned to the judge and said, ‘There’s no justice by putting that kid in jail.’
The victim’s grandmother told the judge the family was asking for leniency because they thought Hubert had suffered enough by losing his job.
Schalk asked the grandmother how the student was doing. She said the girl is on track to graduate early. When asked how the incident affected the student, the grandmother said peers in school tormented her and made comments behind her back.
Hubert’s wife, Julianne, said she supported her husband 150 percent. She said she and her husband have gone through tremendous financial hardship since the allegations were made. She’s moved to Florida to take another job and is living with her mother. She said once ‘everything was finished’ that Hubert would move to Florida, as well.
In regard to the charges against her husband, Julianne Hubert said Kellen would give his own life for that of a student’s.
‘We will bounce back from this. I beg you to give him the chance to be the man he can be,’ she said. ‘The law is black and white, and this is a gray situation.’
She pointed out that the reason Hubert was charged with child seduction is only because he was a teacher.
Hubert took the stand in his own defense and broke down a couple of times as he described letting his family down and how his family has had to help support him and his wife financially.
‘I can barely look my family in the eye. I’m beyond remorse,’ Hubert said. ‘To current and former students and faculty, I’m very sorry and I’m deeply regretful for my actions. I hope they can truly see my remorse and see I’m still the person who would do anything for them.
‘I made a terrible series of mistakes,’ he said. ‘Actions and attitudes are the only two things you can control in life. This is on me. It’s my fault. I’m willing to be the example.’